My son and I didn’t take a family Easter picture this year, though we’ve seen a barrage of them, mostly adorable, on social media. Last night I received the most poignant blessing over my life and mind, (even Ethan thought Fr Jerry was having a “Yoda/Jedi” moment when he spoke so specifically to him.) Then, we sat around a fire and got to know a little about some new friends, Amy & Vernon, star gazed, talked, asked questions, wondered… dreamed. I met a guy getting his PhD in Hebrew! How cool is THAT?!
Lying in our tent, just the two of us, we held hands as we drifted to sleep. A few hours later, we woke up and walked in darkness a few hundred feet to a lovely sunrise service, where I wore no makeup and my shoes weren’t fancy heels. (We had “dress-up clothes” for the later service). When we got home, the Easter Bunny had left wonderful surprises. No, we didn’t take an Easter picture today, but the picture of our Easter changed us in so many ways.
What an incredible journey, of many firsts, we experienced as a duo this week. Waving palm branches, shouting crucify, having our feet washed, washing feet, receiving the Eucharist from and carrying the cross with Pastor Sullivan, one E’s mentors & his bible teacher, leaving our marks on the cross, candle light, darkness, light, baptisms, laughter, blessings, watching and waiting and rising in search of hope.
This week meant more to me than I can express. It wasn’t just the right shoes and a crowded pew where no one cared to ask our name for an hour. It was a entire week where strangers joined us in the dark and journeyed with us to find light. Even when it was down to just the two of us in our tent starting to snooze outside, the sense of fear and loneliness just weren’t there.
I don’t have a clue what the future has in store for us; where we are “supposed” to worship, what my faith journey is “supposed” to look like. But I can say it felt good not having a panic attack today. It felt good not wondering what must be wrong with me because instead of person after person walking by without acknowledging our presence, they reached out and across the isle to make a connection. I felt like we mattered. It felt good not being looked down on as a single parent. It felt good showing up and not worrying about makeup or appearances. It felt great being fully WITH my son and experiencing moments WITH God this week. That’s a picture I will remember for a very long time.